Moonwalk Training – 16 Miles Revisited

3 weeks to go. Arrgh!


  • Porridge and
  • Toast
  • Cuppa
  • Litre of water
  • An overwhelming desire to Just Get The Bastard Done ASAP so I could get on with the rest of my thrill-a-minute weekend, ie. paint the living room while listening to the cricket like a middle-aged middle-class fart. Zzzzz.

Continuing the Just Get The Bastard Done theme, I chose the most straightforward route possible. There is a cycle track half a mile from our flat. It's the outdoor equivalent of a treadmill – dull and straight and predictable. There's markers every half mile and every kilometre. So I planned to walk down, crank out 7.5 miles, turn around, 7.5 miles back, plus the half mile back home for a total of 16.

But what I thought would be a chore turned out quite pleasant. I'd never gone further than four miles on the track before, so didn't realise after that it gets all green and leafy and serene…

And more importantly, plenty of places to hide if you're bursting on a pee.

Then it opens out into quiet fields with swaying crops. No car fumes, no traffic lights, no noise… just the occasional bit of motivational graffiti!


Mathematically Challenged
I was really firing along, counting down the half miles. Vun! Vun-Point-Five Miles! Two! Two-Point-Five Miles! AH HA HA! Then the half-mile markers just stopped at mile five for no good reason.

I switched to the kilometre markers. My arithmetic sucks at the best of times, let alone while walking like a demon. But thanks to the restorative powers of a Half A Snickers Bar, I worked out that 7.5 miles is 12-point-something kilometres. So I turned around at 12.

Then I needed to figure out how fast to walk a kilometre in order maintain a 15 minute mile pace. FAIL! I had to call Dr G for that one.

Give That Girl A Kicking
Right at the end I saw two Moonwalkers In Training in their official sexy pink tartan caps. They'd only just started; their water bottles were full and expressions were grim. So I don't know what part of my fatigued brain thought it would be a great idea to yell out, "I'm nearly finished!"

Once off the cycle track I headed for home, hobbling around a few extra blocks in case my calculations were crap. Luckily I did, as turns out 12 kilometres is only 7.45645431 miles so overall I would have been 0.0870914 miles short of the 16 miles. And we can't have that while training for a non-competitive charity event, CAN WE?!

Pain Report

  • Right shin – excruciating for last five miles
  • Feet – on fire for last hour
  • Ears – random small child on tricycle accompanied me for a mile with her REALLY SQUEAKY WHEELS. My womb is so conflicted: one minute I'm all well aren't you a DELIGHT and the next I wanted to slash her pink plastic tyres.

16.1 miles (25.91km) in 04:01:00. Average pace 14:58 (4.01 mph)

That's more than 20 minutes faster than the previous 16 miler. I put that down to an obscenely huge breakfast and such unfathomable love for painting walls that you want to walk your arse back to the brush as swiftly as possible.

So I felt all speedy, smug and Sporty Spice… until I found out all my team members had done their walks even quicker. Bastards! I know it's not a race, I know it's just for charidee; I know they're not going to leave me behind on the night. But after all these years of sweat and toil I'm still stuck with my high school title of Slowest In The Group? I gotta find me some less speedy comrades. Hehe.

30 thoughts on “Moonwalk Training – 16 Miles Revisited

  1. No lovie, the very fact that you’re doing it is what counts – don’t give a flying f XXX for what anyone else is doing. You’re the man!!! (sorry woman) Love Z xx

  2. Hi DG – Finished the book last week, absolutely loved it. Was delighted to find the blog still very much alive and rolling so I can still get my Diet Girl fix!

    I’m finally starting to relax my obsessive grip on the gym and venture outdoors to do Active Stuff for the first time… did an 8 mile trot around Bolton Abbey with my fella on Saturday and loved it. Feet were murder though, the thought of going as far as your commendable training trek is scary – do you think you can make it any easier on the tootsies by varying sock-type?? Is there anything to be done at all, or do they just toughen up with practice??

    Good luck for the Moon Walk!

    TA x

  3. Oh that bike trail is pretty! And yes many places to pee, that is essential.

    4 mph is great! I only walk about 3.5, and that’s not for 16 miles at one go! I think you will kick ass (that’s arse in australian) on The Night. Plus I’ll bet half the people decide it’s a good idea to visit a few pubs along the way and that will definitely slow them down.

  4. I think you are doing great. Me and my aunt finished the London MoonWalk in just under 9 hours and I was happy with that. I don’t know what yours will be like but to start with you just keep up with the people around you and in London we had to stop quite a few times to get across busy roads which is hard for your pace. Believe me though, all this practice is so worth it, I recovered ay quicker than I expected!

  5. Zanna – thanks matey πŸ™‚ you are so right. i reckon on the night my only aim will be just to FINISH without keeling over.

    Sally – Ooh great to hear from a Moonwalk finisher, good on ya!

    It is really silly to fuss over training times since like you say it’s going to be impossible to keep up the same pace on the night, what with 12,000 walkers!

    I was talking about this with my colleagues and we reckon we keep an eye on the pace coz the training walks just suck up SOOO much of your weekend so you want to get them out the way! arrgh i can’t wait to be DONE!

    Marla – a pub stop sounds ideal. a pub stop with CHIPS!

    TA – hiya! thanks for reading the book! glad you enjoyed the great outdoors… i think the more you do the more your feet toughen up. i wear the same breed of socks each walk but have noticed my feet seem harder. not very sexy, mind. hehe.

  6. Oh – another walk under the belt – good job on improving your time….

    This line just killed me – “My womb is so conflicted: one minute I’m all well aren’t you a DELIGHT and the next I wanted to slash her pink plastic tyres.”

    Oh – that is so funny. You write so well, slipping in little zingers like that!

  7. ::scratching noggin::: It has been a very long time since I took math….

    7.5 + 7.5 = 15

    I think.

    Still! that’s about 13 more miles than I walked yesterday, so POWER ON! πŸ˜‰

  8. Never mind. I’m clearly under-caffinated. There’s .5 miles to yer house! Whew.

    Off to drink more coffee. Sorry!

  9. Cheers Laura! πŸ™‚

    Zingopink – Nae bother, I was having trouble with that on Saturday, kept forgetting I’d done that .5 mile… it’s a real psychological boost when you’re almost limping!

  10. Please tell me when you were doing your Count impression that it was out loud? I can’t be the only one who does that out loud!

  11. I can’t believe you walked that far…. I read it and am amazed each time. I’ve taken up bike riding. I don’t want to ever walk again. πŸ˜› We did our longest ride this past weekend… 15.2 miles. It took an hour and 40 minutes. And I don’t think I pushed my bike up any hills this time!! You need a Moon Ride…

  12. The bike path you walked on looks perfect. Good luck on the Moonwalk. You will be amazed at how much easier it will be with all the hoopla and fanfare surrounding such an event.

  13. Great job on the 16. You improved your own pace–that’s what counts. I know it’s frustrating to be slower than others. Drives me nuts that I’m a slow runner. But the thing about this type of sport is, you truly compete only against yourself. (It’s totally okay to be frustrated, though. I feel your pain on that front.) Keep on keepin’ on!

  14. 16 miles! You bloody rock! I am scared about the 5k that I am doing on sunday for race for life!
    I am totally doing the moonwalk next year πŸ™‚
    keep going hun, you can totally kick that 26 miles! Do we get a photo of your fancy bra? πŸ˜‰

  15. Your training seems to take you to some gorgeous locations. They do a great lake walk where I live that is 56KM long and I am contemplating undertaking it next year.

    Also, tagged you with a meme

  16. 16 miles! Go you!

    Looks a bit like my favoured bike path, except the graffiti there says “Tories Out!” (I think it must be sarcastic… surely it can’t be eleven years old?)

  17. Howling with laughter at both the motivational graffiti and the “conflicted womb” line. I can just imagine you turfing the wee thing off her bike and slashing the tyres in a Moonwalk-derived hissy fit. Ouch, my sides hurt! xx

  18. Hey you never mentioned PINK TARTAN HATS!!
    Have you got a foam roller for your calves? They are the best thing ever for tight muscles – kind of like a free excruciating sports massage in the privacy of your own home!

  19. Maybe my chronic pain has turned me into a grouch in search of scheudenfraude, but I really wish you’d slashed her tires πŸ™‚

  20. Haaa nice! So inspiring woman, even through the grouchy bits. It’s easier to relate to someone who wasn’t smiling and skipping the whole way πŸ˜‰ Although if you are looking for a less speedy comrade you found her right here, even when it feels like I’m jogging it still takes almost an hour to do 5k so yeah… apparently you aren’t the slowest in the world lol huuuge hugs

  21. Definitely luverly scenery – and on the places to pee front, at least in the UK you don’t have to be checking for snakes…


  22. “My womb is so conflicted”

    Welcome to my life. I can’t stop laughing. I’m getting that printed on a t-shirt.

  23. Good job! I think I’d forget to keep up a decent pace because I’d be too busy being distracted by the pretty trees.

  24. Hi Shauna,

    I recently requested my library to order your book and walla, last week it arrived. (Thumbs up to brilliant NZ libraries).

    Anyway, 2 days later and I can’t go to bed at night. It’s just so insightful and I find myself either laughing, saying “I’ve done that” or just wow’ing to myself. Incredible stuff

    You are a talented woman and I hope we can look forward to more books from you, especially on the topics of self-esteem and the female relationship with food.


  25. Hey There. You totally crack me up. Only God knows how I ended up on your site. I googled something like “wedding gloves, fat arms, sleeveless dress” and the first hit was your site. You’re now bookmarked as a blog that I will continue to read and be inspired by. I am getting married in 17 days. My fiance wants me to wear long gloves. Apparently my flabby upper arms do not bother him. He’s something else. I am also wearing a sleeveless dress. Sleeveless dress and long gloves do not go well with each other when you are a size 18. Oh well. πŸ™‚ Anyway, thanks for providing reading pleasure and inspiration for me tonight. Cheers! Tami

  26. Hey Shauna,

    That’s still an incredible pace – and you’ll find that between you and your co-walkers you’ll have good and bad times throughout the night. Walking as a group helps to pull each other through the ‘darktimes’ (and boy – did I have dark times!).

    Also – take into account it’s overnight (you’ll crave sleep at about 3am), you’re surrounded by 12,000 people (there’ll be bottlenecks); you’re probably crossing busy roads (so will be told to stop to let the traffic past)…

    I make it sound terrible, don’t I – but it’s a fantastic night. Seriously!

    (I’m mighty jealous of the tartan hats)

    Going to bombard you with Twitters re. the food question now…!

  27. hahaha, great blog. usually the motivation to just get it over with is what gets me outside, and then i find it hard to go back in. it’s so great to see someone else who thinks working out is uncomfortable as well! (next time pop those stupid pink tires!)

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